As more and more people get the Covid-19 vaccine, we are slowly seeing aspects of our lives return to normalcy, but it is clear that the pandemic had a lasting impact on the live event industry. Many venues took a hard hit, but the adaptability, creativity, and perseverance demonstrated by Orlando’s eclectic arts and entertainment community amidst this challenging time has created refreshing new experiences in live events. Some of these changes may even be taking up a more permanent residence in the Orlando community.
(photo credit: https://bungalower.com/2021/05/06/preliminary-lake-eola-park-designs-released/)
- If you are a theater-goer, you’ve most likely heard of the productions Orlando Shakes has put on at the Lake Eola Amphitheater during the pandemic. In the past, they have given one-of performances from time to time at this location, but in response to the pandemic, their efforts in building a fully functional theater with multiple stories, theater lighting, and incredible set design is notable. They spared no expense in bringing the full Shakes experience to the Orlando community despite the strict precautions taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The increased importance of this open-air space has even inspired possible plans to make it a more enjoyable live experience. The rumored expansion includes additional seating and a canopy installment to shelter patrons from rain and the hot Florida sun.
(photo credit: Dr. Phillips Center https://www.drphillipscenter.org/events/frontyard-festival/)
- The Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center is a state-of-the-art venue in the downtown area that offers incredible productions and concerts. During the pandemic, they partnered with AdventHealth and truly went above and beyond to create a safe space for the community to come together, enjoy the arts, and make memories despite the obstacles and hardships faced during this time. The inability to socialize has had a great impact on mental health and Dr. Phillip’s has taken a stand for the importance of human connection and the arts. The Dr. Phillips Center utilized the outdoor space in front of their building to open Frontyard Festival. The event space offers everything from movie nights, live music, brunch, stand-up comedy, and concerts. Guests can even order food and drinks from their favorite restaurants without ever having to leave the seats in their own socially distanced box that can hold up to five people. While the venue only has events scheduled through mid-June on their website, Dr. Phillips Center is in talks about extending Frontyard Festival further into the year. Make sure to check it out before this unique experience is gone!
(photo credit: The Vanguard Lot 54 https://www.thevanguard.live/lot54)
- The Vanguard on Orange Ave has set up quite the immersive concert experience in response to Covid-19. Lot 54 is an open air venue that has already made a name for itself thanks to its niche in electronic and house music festivals. Hosting Tiësto in May and with a promising lineup of concerts to come, Lot 54’s pandemic-conscious venue will ensure music festival culture is making a strong return and is here to stay regardless of how quickly the pandemic is eradicated. Get your glow paint, glitter, and go-go boots out of your closets because the dancing isn’t going to stop!
Our City Beautiful is a true testament to the strength, love, and resiliency the Orlando community shares for the arts and for each other and has truly demonstrated what it means to thrive in spite of a global pandemic.